Israel, a Banana Republic?

Call me old-fashioned, call me radical, but I think these so-called "Jewish settlers" are the brave, modern-day pioneers of Israel. But, once again, as it was during the reign of Daddy Bush, they are now an "obstacle to peace". These so-called Jewish "settlements" take up less than 2% of the entire "West Bank". Yeah, right, the Arabs need that land. So now, there is talk about abandoning these "ob

Arlene Peck

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It is fairly obvious that Colin Powell, Ms. Rice, and most of all, George Bush, are applying enormous pressure on Israeli Prime Minister Sharon to "fall in line" with their "visions" of a Palestinian State. I want to sit down and write something fresh and new. Not the same old standard about this "Road Map to Hell" warning. How about something a bit more specific? Like the "Road to Auschwitz"?

I was too young to be aware of what was happening prior to the advent of Nazi Germany in the early 1930s, while Hitler was making ominous inroads in the country. Hell, growing up in Georgia, USA, not too much touched us anyway. But now, I finally understand the feeling of utter helplessness and despair seeing events unfolding and wondering if I'm the only one feeling betrayed. Israel is in mortal danger and where are the national protests? The Jewish State is being operated on by vicious, lying, deceitful terrorist thugs, with George Bush and friends administering the anesthetic.

The world, and especially all Jews, cannot stand by silently, as thirty-eight nations did at a French resort in the summer of 1938. At this Evian Conference, delegates voiced their concern and pity for German Jews trying to find countries willing to take them in. There was plenty of "pity", but very few "takers". And, now, here comes the "Road Map". Shouldn't something as important as uprooting a quarter million Jews be voted on in Israel's parliament, the Knesset? Or even by seeking the approval of the Israeli electorate in a referendum?

Have we lost our minds? We sit here complacent, while those in Washington tell us how they only want "peace in the Middle East." Great. Are we to understand from their logic that the best way to fight terror is to build a terrorist state alongside of Israel? President Bush, much like his daddy, is now clamoring for Sharon to show good faith by once again opening the jail house gates and releasing just a few (like a hundred or two) of the terrorists who were responsible for previous acts of terror. Wow! What a message that sends. Kill Israelis, and if you should get caught, the most you'll have to serve is just a little bit of Road-Map-years-time, because by then someone will come up with a good reason why Israel should make another concession.

When did Israel become a banana republic? I cannot watch while Sharon succumbs to intense pressure to appease the Arab nations, as the Jewish State is set up for destruction. What you see is not always what you get. How is it that Israel voted in Likud, but got Meretz and Peace Now? Where has the Arik Sharon we once knew, and the Israelis voted for, gone? How did he suddenly become George Bush's water boy? And, why is Israel being set up as a sacrificial lamb for the appeasement of Arab "sensibilities"? The 1993 Oslo Peace Accords were a disaster. We know that the murderers won't stop until they exterminate every Jew in what they consider to be "occupied" territory. Yet, knowing that this is Oslo II revisited, they're still falling for that same old "Trojan Horse." What next? It's no different than trying to pass off that nice piece of swamp land in Florida.

Sharon has created an even bigger crisis. He has opened a Pandora's Box by not only approving the concept of a "Palestinian" state, but by also referring to the Jewish presence in Judea, Samaria and Gaza and East Jerusalem as "an occupation." By doing so, he gave credibility to the mistaken belief that the Arab "Palestinians" are indeed historically different and entitled to a national homeland. Better he should have stated that the only "occupiers" were the Arabs. The Jewish nation has a deed to the land that goes back thousands of years.

Call me old-fashioned, call me radical, but I think these so-called "Jewish settlers" are the brave, modern-day pioneers of Israel. But, once again, as it was during the reign of Daddy Bush, they are now an "obstacle to peace". These so-called Jewish "settlements" take up less than 2% of the entire "West Bank". Yeah, right, the Arabs need that land. So now, there is talk about abandoning these "obstacles to peace". Well, I was a journalist at Camp David and was in El Arish when Israel and Egypt signed their peace treaty, which had Israel relinquish the entire Sinai Desert Peninsula. Yamit was a tiny Israeli "settlement" in the very northwest corner of the Sinai Desert. I vividly remember the sight of Israeli soldiers (under the direct orders of Ariel Sharon) forcibly removing fellow Jews from rooftops. Will the Israeli army, many of whose members? families live in Judea and Samaria, now be ordered to haul off a quarter million Jews from today's "occupied" territories?

Look what happened when Israel tried to move out twenty-something Arab terrorists from the Church of the Nativity. Not one of their Arab brothers would take them and they had to be bribed by the IDF with safe passage to either Gaza or some 5-star Mediterranean resort before they waved their white flags. I wonder? What will those proud Jews in Judea-Samaria be offered? The opportunity to turn over the beautiful modern towns and cities, shopping malls, restaurants, schools, universities, electric grids, water treatment plants, hospitals and four-lane highways to those who send forth homicide bombers to murder them?

If it weren't so serious and dangerous, it would be almost comical. CNN and FOX have panel "discussions" or Town Meetings comprised of people who have no idea what they are talking about and who probably couldn't even find the Middle East on a map. Bush and his aides give press conferences about their plans to "get everybody talking." Yeah, right. What further "gestures of goodwill" can be expected of an emasculated Sharon and his bickering Cabinet? This week, more prisoner releases. Next month, what next? Didn't we have such scenes during the first Oslo, when the committed and dangerous optimist, Shimon Peres, was arming to the teeth his new best friends, a beaming Yasser Arafat and his 40,000 man "police force"?

Nobody seems to care what the scenery down the road looks like. Or, that the scenery is on the edge of a cliff. All we hear from George Bush is his "vision" of a Palestinian state. Aren't there supposed to be a few things that go along with that? Like democratization, tolerance and an end to terrorism? If pressure is going to play a pivotal role in the peace process, then it's long past due to start pressuring these savage Arab terrorists to end their killing sprees and to back it up with action on the ground, not with just words from loose lips on Meet the Press.

And why is Israel so submissive? The threat of an American embargo on the Jewish state, that's why. Those in Washington might want to remember that it's election time again. I don't think that our President and his advisers would want to explain at their various "photo-ops" why unreasonable suicidal demands were placed upon the Jewish state. Or why they turned proud, little, democratic Israel into a Third World banana republic. The last I heard, Israel was still a sovereign state. And, if I'm not mistaken, sovereign states have the right and the obligation to protect their own citizenry. So, let the "Quartet" continue to be "disappointed" and' "miffed" by the conduct of the Jewish State as it stares down a Second Holocaust. Israel's American friends and the media need to "back off", and Israel needs to take some of Nancy Reagan?s advice and ?Just say no!?
Arlene Peck is an internationally syndicated columnist and television talk show hostess. She can be reached at